By Maxime Devillaz
Dr. Sean A. Grennan, a former New York Police Department investigator and professor of Criminal Justice at LIU Post, passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 28, from a long-fought battle with cancer.
Spending most of his life patrolling within different areas of the police force, Dr. Grennan enlightened the classroom sessions through real life experiences. His abundance to help was appreciated by those who needed extra help in their college careers.
Dr. Grennan started off as a patrol officer in the mid-60s. He became one of the first decoy officers in the city, before moving on as an investigator in Harlem. Grennan was promoted to team leader, and capped off on top with the NYPD, directing the Investigative Training program at the New York City Police Academy.
With over 20 years of experience within the field, Dr. Grennan never really let go of these attributes when switching vocation. “Sean was the epitome of a cop’s cop,” Dr. Harvey Kushner, chair of the Criminal Justice department, said. “He had credentials any criminal justice academic needed—a Ph.D. in his specialty, a graduate certificate from the FBI National Academy, peer reviewed articles, and a popular textbook on gangs and organized crime.”
With his decorated resume as a police officer, and his own athletic background as a baseball player, Dr. Grennan served as the Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR) to oversee that the work was in compliance with NCAA regulations. He became the supportive soul for many students who needed extra assistance—especially for the many student-athletes who struggled to balance sports hours with their education.
“Sean always made himself available to our athletes. He would assist them in any way he could, whether at practices or games or just exercising around the facilities,” said Bryan Collins, head of the athletics department and head coach of the football team.
“His stories in class just made everything so much more interesting,” said Cemil Turan, a former Criminal Justice major at Post and a member of the men’s soccer team up until the 2013-14 season. “You never found anyone in his class on the phone or laptop,” Turan added, emphasizing how the technological advancements of today otherwise tend to snatch students’ attention away from professors.
“He was always able to relate his teaching to his life and would grab the students’ attention and interact with them,” said Morgan Kitton, a senior and member of the women’s soccer team. “I’ll miss his funny humor and great personality the most.”
He is survived by his wife, Peggy Grennan, and his two daughters, Megan Clough and Lauren Grennan.
The scheduled wake and funeral mass were held to honor Dr. Grennan only days after his passing. Those who wish to send their condolences can visit Dr. Grennan’s Facebook page @Sean Grennan and post a comment.